The eminent presidential historian and Lyndon Johnson biographer Robert Caro has always said that “power reveals.” And it is becoming more evident that President Barack Obama is revealing himself more and more as a typical Chicago politician.
When he was a presidential candidate, one of Obama’s main campaign themes was ending the revolving door between government and lobbyists. Obama assailed the Bush Administration’s no-bid contracts and the notorious “K-Street” project Republicans undertook in the 2000s that enraged conservatives across the country.
But a recent examination of newly-released White House visitor logs by The Washington Post shows an administration that promised to clean up the proverbial Washington cesspool and instead made it a hot tub.
According to The Washington Post, the visitor logs “make it clear that Obama’s senior officials are granting that access to some of K Street’s most influential representatives. In many cases, those lobbyists have long-standing connections to the president or his aides. Republican lobbyists coming to visit are rare, while Democratic lobbyists are common, whether they are representing corporate clients or liberal causes.”
Among the revelations: an unpaid adviser to Obama’s 2008 campaign, Marshal Matz, “came to the Old Executive Office Building with the owner of Beef Products Inc. to meet with Robin Schepper, a woman he has known for years who heads Michelle Obama’s anti-obesity campaign. The company owner argued that one of his products should be promoted for school lunches, according to two participants in the meeting.”
According to the report, the AFL-CIO’s lobbyist met with members of the Obama administration 50 times. Uber liberal lobbyist Tony Podesta, son of former Obama official and co-founder of the liberal Center for American Progress think tank which runs left-wing organizations like “Think Progress,” visited with members of the administration over 20 times.
Then there is Tim Hannegan, a lobbyist for Comcast, which now owns MSNBC, which essentially acts as an arm of Obama’s reelection campaign. According to the report, “Hannegan gathered at the Old Executive Office Building with the CEO and a lobbyist from his client Kelly Services,” and the “group discussed a tax credit that Kelly, which supplies temporary office staffers, was pushing to encourage companies to hire unemployed veterans. Obama signed into law the credit, known as the VOW to Hire Heroes Act, a month and a half later.”
Downey has logged 31 meetings. Even the Washington Post, which owns the for-profit Kaplan educational institutes, lobbied the White House, according to the visitor logs.
An Obama 2008 campaign brochure prominently stated that, “The Bush Administration has turned our government into a game only the lobbyists and special interests can afford to play. The evidence of the Bush Administration and its cronies manipulating public policy for private gain is staggering.”
In that brochure, candidate obama promised he would close the revolving door, “end wasteful spending,” and restore “objectivity to the executive branch.”
And yet, Obama has not restored objectivity by not meeting with Republican-leaning lobbyists, has not ended wasteful spending by awarding no-bid contracts to campaign cronies and wasting taxpayer money on venture socialism projects like Solyndra, and wrote an Obamacare law that directly benefited the very lobbyists from the drug industry he promised to run out of town.
These are just more examples of the hypocritical campaigner-in-chief’s rhetoric not matching his record.